mit biophysics certificate program


biophysics Certificate program requirements







Principles of Biochemical Analysis

Genetics for Graduate Students

Molecular Biology

Eukaryotic Cell Biology

Microbial Genetics and Evolution

area iI: Biological sciences




Biophysical Chemistry

Statistical Physics in Biology

Physical Biology

area I: physical sciences & engineering


5.78 or












Biological Engineering II: Instrumentation & Measurement

Biophysical Chemistry Techniques

Chemical Tools for Assessing Biological Function

Crystal Structure Analysis

Molecular Imaging

Neuroimaging Cells & Circuits

NMR Spectroscopy and Organic Structure Determination

Optical Microscopy and Spectroscopy for Biology and Medicine


Quantitative Biology

Systems Biology

Physico-chemical Concepts in Immunology and Virology

area iII: biophysical methods

*Plus one (12-unit) course from each of the following three areas:

20.416J/7.74J Evaluating Current Research in Molecular & Cellular Biophysics (6-units, fall)

The Biophysics Certificate Program is open to any graduate student who is already enrolled in a graduate program at MIT. Certificate requirements include a three-course 36-unit interdisciplinary core (Areas I, II, and III below) and a one-semester 6-unit discussion-based course (20.416J/7.74J) that exposes students to diverse areas of modern biophysics research. Students are additionally expected to present their graduate research in the Biophysics Graduate Student Seminar Series, participate in the annual biophysics retreat, which includes student poster presentations, student talks, and ethics training in the responsible conduct of research, and regularly attend the MIT Biophysics Seminar Series. A graduate certificate is not a formal degree, but rather a means of acknowledging that a graduate student has completed a course of study that includes training in biophysics in addition to their principal area of specialization. For questions related to the Biophysics Certificate Program please e-mail

Eugene Yurtsev

Ph.D. student in

Prof. Jeff Gore’s lab

Eugene received his BS in Physics from UC Santa Barbara.  In the Gore Lab, Eugene is working on cooperation and cheating in the evolution of antibiotic resistance.

Rajeev Vijay Rikhye

Ph.D. student in

Prof. Mriganka Sur’s lab. 

Rajeev began his Ph.D. program in August, 2011.  He received his Masters in Biomedical Engineering with Electrical Engineering (First Class Honors) at the Imperial College, London, UK.

Rajeev’s current research involves uncovering the biophysical basis of single neuron computations.  His aim is to understand how neural circuits in the primary visual cortex represent naturalistic stimuli and how synaptic plasticity and other learning mechanisms function to improve this code.  Rajeev performs two-photon calcium imaging and targeted loose-patch recordings in anesthetized mice while controlling the activity of specific cell types with optogenetic methods.

Tatiana Artemova

Ph.D. student in

Prof. Jeff Gore’s lab

Tatiana received her BS in Physics from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. 

Tatiana is currently determining how the cooperative growth dynamics of bacteria in antibiotics influences the conditions that favor the emergence of antibiotic resistance.  In particular, she has found that the traditional metric for resistance (the Minimum Inhibitory Concentration) may not be appropriate for beta-lactam antibiotics, where the antibiotic is cooperatively inactivated.

Rotem Gura

Ph.D. student in

Prof. Jeremy England’s lab.  

Rotem received his B.Sc. in Physics from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

In his research, Rotem aims to develop physical models for protein-protein interactions in live cells. Good models will help in predicting the strength and character of interaction among a set of given proteins. Such predictions will have wide applications in areas of biological research such as protein aggregation and neurodegenerative diseases, cancer and drug-design. Key words: protein folding, molecular chaperones, statistical mechanics.

Tewei (Robert) Luo

Ph.D. student in

Prof. Myriam Heiman’s lab.

Robert received his BA in Biology from Pomona College in CA in 2011.

Currently, Robert is working in Myriam Heiman’s lab.  He is interested in the translational regulation in neurons, including local and activity-dependent translation. Another long term goal of his is trying to understand the differential neuronal cell death pattern in Huntington's disease (HD) using cell culture and mouse models of HD, as well as biophysical characterization of huntingtin aggregates.

Former Biophysics Graduate Certificate Program Students

Ibon Santiago

Completed the Certificate in Biophysics

June, 2012

Ibon received his undergraduate degree in Physics from the University of the Basque Country (Bilbao).  His research at MIT focused on the experimental realization of mixtures of ultracold quantum gases using lasers to cool, trap and image atoms. 

As part of the Biophysics Certificate Program, Ibon studied topics as diverse as mitochondrial networks, nuclear centering in the cell and the exciting world of molecular motors.  He is also interested in the dynamics and collective properties of self-organizing systems.

Marco Jost

Ph.D. student in

Prof. Catherine Drennan’s lab

Marco received his undergraduate degree from the University of Tuebingen, in Germany. 

Marco’s research is aimed at understanding the structure and function of enzymes, in particular of enzymes that use metallocofactors such as vitamin B12 and its derivatives. To investigate these enzymes, he employs a variety of techniques including X-ray crystallography, analytical ultracentrifugation, X-ray scattering, and different types of spectroscopy. Marco is interested in metalloenzymes both because of the remarkable mechanisms that they use to catalyze complex chemical reactions and of the potential applications that range from synthetic biology to human health issues.

Below are participating and recently graduated students of the Biophysics Certificate Program. The program is open to all MIT graduate students, please contact Kerry Forristall for more information. To sign up for the biophysics student mailing list please click here.

Current Biophysics Certificate Students

*It may be possible to substitute other biophysics classes at MIT for those listed above.  To discuss this possibility, please contact Jeff Gore (  For other Biophysics classes offered listed see additional Biophysics Courses.